Stylurus plagiatus

Russet-tipped Clubtail

Stylurus plagiatus, Russet-tipped Clubtail male in flight

Family: Gomphidae

Length: typically 55-65 mm


The dark lateral and dorsal stripes on the thorax of Stylurus plagiatus are widely separated by broad green stripes.

Males have a rusty orange club, while females are essentially without clubs.

The male Stylurus plagiatus patrol tirelessly, defending a territory Dunkle (2000) estimated at 35-40 meters in diameter. They occasionally perch on leaves, often two meters or more above the ground.

Stylurus plagiatus, Russet-tipped Clubtail perched

Both sexes hunt by scanning vegetation, and often grab prey from the top surfaces of leaves.

Streams, lakes, and rivers make up the typical habit of this species.

For many years West Virginia's only record of Stylurus plagiatus was a record from Grant County. The ones shown on this page were photographed in Upshur County in 2004, and constitute the second record of the species in the state. These dragonflies were difficult to photograph because they were either in constant flight, or perched high in Sycamore trees. The habitat was a fairly deep pool of a largish creek.


Insects of West Virginia